Families and young people are a vital part of our PYM community and when we gather for Sessions it is to be an all-ages spiritual community. The time of Covid-19 has changed the shape of our gathering this year — and the shape of this summer for many families. We hope PYM programs will support parents and children at home who are seeking experiences of online camp and community this summer.
We are being PYM together all summer long! There are opportunities in the weeks leading up to Sessions to participate in online workshops, mindfulness meditation, and plenary sessions. Friends are gathering across the four states in our Yearly Meeting region to worship, learn, discern, and together bear witness to our hopes for our Religious Society and wider society. Middle School Friends and Young Friends are also offering programs for their communities before Sessions.
For young people, PYM Youth Programs, including the week of Sessions, are vital experiences of being with a larger community of “Quaker Kids” than most of them experience in their home meeting.
During Annual Sessions, July 29 – August 2, in virtual spaces using Zoom, we will gather for all-ages worship, All Together Time, Youth Programs, worship sharing, and affinity groups during the days, and dynamic keynote addresses in the evenings. Youth Program times on the Annual Sessions schedule are staggered with adult programs to allow for easier access with home electronic devices and to free parents to monitor and participate in their children’s online activities as led.
Saturday evening, August 1, after the all-ages City Love concert and getting the kids in bed, please join Parent Worship Sharing. Parents, primary caregivers (including grandparents), foster parents, and guardians of infants to teens are invited to a virtual “neighborhood gathering” hosted by the Young Adult Friends community, August 1 from 9-10pm. We will gather for a time of grounded listening, spiritual care, and joy together.
Youth Programs gather in their groups at Sessions 1-2 times a day in age-appropriate length program times. Young people are invited to participate in all-ages worship each morning, which will end with 20 minutes of “All Together Time” and multigenerational, spiritual fun led by youth programs staff. Everyone will have workshop time with poet artist in residence Zenaida Peterson and with City Love. There will be games and laughter — though it’s BYOP (bring your own popsicles!) this year.
Click on the group name below to see their schedule for Sessions week!
Children’s Sessions combines a camp experience and spiritual community for children with stories, play, art, and music in age-appropriate length sessions during the reserved blocks of time each day. We’ll explore the Children’s program theme “Using Your Voice!” in ways that celebrate the power of our voices, kindness, and knowing each other in community. Watch for “Spiritual Care Packages” we’re sending with materials for projects, workshops, and to use during worship!
At virtual Annual Sessions 2020, Middle School Friends will begin to explore the themes of racial and environmental justice through conversations, interactive activities, and creative projects. On Friday, there will be a special youth-led program on witness for immigration justice. We will also spend time just hanging out, playing games, and getting to know each other better!
The Young Friends program at Annual Sessions will include workshops, worship sharing, committee time and meeting for business — alongside fellowship together. We will be rounding out our yearly theme of change through workshops on both change within ourselves, and creating social change in the world beyond our community!